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'First of its kind’ multi-casualty incident simulation on the Isle of Wight

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'First of its kind’ multi-casualty incident simulation on the Isle of Wight
02 December 2021

In a first of its kind exercise the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Ambulance Service (IWAS) ran an ambitious large-scale night exercise on Tuesday evening (30th November) at Cheverton Farm, Shorwell.

Working with partners in the fire service, HM Coastguard, the Hampshire and IOW Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) and the Lee-on-solent HM Coastguard rescue helicopter, the exercise realistically simulated two vehicles which had crashed and rolled over a cliff.  8 casualties were involved with 6 trapped.   The incident was allowed to evolve in real-time and incorporated all aspects of the emergency response. 

Having undergone a period of enhanced training alongside local and regional partners, IOW paramedics were examined in delivery of an enhanced set of trauma and critical care management skills.  The scenario also tested complex decision making and communication within and between different agencies and stress-tested both clinical and operational skills and systems.

Dr John Pike (IWAS medical lead) said: “The IOW Ambulance Service delivers exceptional care to patients involved in serious incidents on a regular basis.  Managing a complex multi-casualty trauma at night on an offshore island is, however, challenging at the best of times.  High-fidelity training is vital to provide the most skilled and experienced IOW clinicians.

“This large-scale simulated incident incorporating the difficulties of darkness, multiple trapped casualties, remote locations, high wind and driving rain required a high level of clinical and operational leadership.  Our staff needed to fully utilise all of their enhanced skills and decision-making to ensure the best outcomes for the patients involved. Working with colleagues from other agencies makes a huge difference to how we provide exceptional care to Isle of Wight patients. 

“We are delighted to have had the constant support of all our partners to be able to run such a realistic and large-scale simulated incident.  As a result of our commitment to training in enhanced skills we are delighted to be able to offer a new level of trauma and critical care to the people of the IOW.”

The incident was held with the kind support of Andrew, Claudia and Jack Hodgson at their farm (Cheverton Farm) in Shorwell.  Around 80 participants and vehicles from many agencies were involved in this exercise.  These include simulated patients, bystanders, clinical and command staff from the ambulance service and fire service alongside HM Coastguard ground teams and HM Coastguard Rescue 175. 

Clinicians from the Hampshire and IOW Air Ambulance were also present in a teaching and assessment role.

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